My Greatest Procrastination: Shampooing My Car

Note: This is part of a series of superlatives about my life. So far the series includes my greatest shame (1 and 2), fear, sloth, and joy

Microsoft Outlook’s calendar provides a feature that’s both a bane and a boon. The reminders you place on your calendar, when they pop up, give you the option of snoozing them for a later time.

I should say here that I’m not a snoozer. When my alarm goes off in the morning, I’m out of bed immediately. No time to drift in and out of sleep for another 45 minutes. But when it comes to snoozing Outlook reminders, I’m an addict. I don’t want to do anything right away that my past self scheduled for me. Who does he think he is, anyway?

I didn’t realize how bad it was until I took a look at a reminder that’s been popping up for a while now. “Treat car seats with Neutrogena?” it reads (more on that later). There, on the right, it shows the amount of time I’ve delayed it. 50 weeks. 50 weeks. That might be a snooze record. The next closest reminder I have is late by 3 weeks. 50 is unprecedented.

So why don’t I just go outside and start squirting my car with facial wash? Well, for starters, that’s a lot of work. Even just washing my face takes a few minutes—imagine a full car interior. But the main reason is that I’m just not comfortable washing my car in that way. It’s too close to treating my car like a…like a human. I’m not that guy who preens his car like a show dog. I get it washed a few times a year, and hope for a good rain every once in a while during the in-between months. So the idea of washing it with a facial cleanser just seems to personal.

Who told me to use Neutrogena, you might ask? The dealer who sold me the car told me that I needed to treat leather seats like their alive. Hence the human facial cleanser. And he said I needed to do it once a year. So when I got the car two years ago, I set a reminder for fall of ’07, snoozed it for a while, and all of a sudden a year has passed. And I still haven’t exfoliated my seats.

So this, my friends, is my greatest procrastination. Someday, somehow, I will rub my seats with the same tenderness that I use to wash my own skin. That day just isn’t today.